The introduction of water into the colon to stimulate bowel activity and to cleanse the bowels.
- Stimulates peristalsis or bowel activities.
- Cleanses the colon, usually done before tests and x-rays of the colon or any of the abdominal organs.
- Relieves gas pain.
- Enema can with tubing and rectal tip.
- Lubricant (oil or mild soap).
- Toilet paper.
- Plastic sheet or old newspaper.
- Salt—1 tablespoon for a liter or about 4 cups of water.
- Bedpan if patient is unable to go to the toilet.
- Bedside commode.
- Enema can be given in bed or on the padded floor if bedroom is far from the toilet bowl
- Give privacy to the patient if done outside of the bedroom.
- Place the plastic sheet or old newspaper under the patient’s buttocks.
- Turn the patient on the left side, with the knees flexed. Cover the patient, exposing only the rectal area.
- Fill up the enema can with warm water, and add 1 tablespoon of salt. Allow the solution to flow through the tubing to remove the air before inserting the rectal tip.
- Lubricate the rectal tip with oil or mild soap to make it easy to insert.
- Insert the lubricated rectal tip into the rectum allowing the water to flow slowly into the colon. The height of the can should be only about 1-1/2 feet or 18 inches (45 cm.) from the patient’s rectum.
- Control the rate and pressure of the solution going into the rectum by raising and towering the enema can slowly. If the patient complains of a desire to expel the fluid, stop the flow for a few seconds by pinching the tubing and let the patient open his mouth. Let him breathe through the mouth and relax.
- As much as possible let him hold all the solution in as long as he can before expelling the water.
- Remove the enema tip slowly and wrap it with tissue paper. Assist patient into the toilet or give bedpan if unable to go to the toilet bowl.
- Observe the return flov 12. Repeat procedure until all solution is gone or until the return flow is clear.
- Wash and dry patient and make him comfortable. Observe patient’s condition and reaction.
- Clean up the area, wash and boil the enema can, tubing and the tip before putting it away. Be sure the rubber tubing is dry before keeping it.
Enemas should not be given freely. Unless indicated and ordered by the physician. it will do more harm than good.